1. (of a liquid or gas) Filter gradually through a porous surface or substance.2. (of information or an idea or feeling) Spread gradually through an area or group of people.
So it's Saturday morning, and we're slowly easing into the day. There are things to do later, and lots to do tomorrow. Right now though, in the background, the message for tomorrow's worship gathering is percolating. Earlier in the week I read the texts I'll use - several times from several sources. I spend some time reacquainting myself with their context. After jotting some notes down about my impressions of what they reveal and what they might say to people today, I move on.
What did others who have walked down the same road see? In their eyes, what was God doing?
What did He want us to know and to do?
While the Spirit speaks to me just as He did to them, I want to hear from their context - from their heart - too. Most of the time, they provide me with nuances of understanding, glimpses of another perspective that because my experiences and training differs from theirs in some way, I might not have seen. If I can find these across ages - even better. To read from the early church fathers, or rabbinical writings and then up through the years to today is to hear the Voice across the ages as God tells His Story and each person, in his time, repeats it.
By the end of the week, I often will have read hundreds of pages in that effort.
All the while I'm making notes, mental or otherwise, of those thoughts that tug at me, at my heart, or that open my mind to what is there from God. They come at odd times. I've had sermons open up while shopping with Bunny in fabric stores. I've had whole passages reveal themselves at the beach. I've heard from God while doing lots of things unrelated to my study or my office at home.
It's as if the whole idea of what the message is to be is percolating - through my soul.
I'm so very thankful for the honor of sharing what I've heard.